Reports: Timberwolves closing in on hiring Dave Joerger as coach; Hollins, Mitchell also in mix

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Dave Joerger coached a Memphis team that was without Marc Gasol for two months to 50 wins, then they pushed the Oklahoma City Thunder (then still with Serge Ibaka) to seven games. You couldn’t have really asked for anything more with this roster.

But with front office shifts a plenty in Memphis (again) and an owner who reportedly wanted to fire him midseason, Joerger was given permission to talk to Minnesota, his home state, to potentially coach the Timberwolves. Joerger and Timberwolves president Flip Saunders have a long-standing relationship.

With that things are moving pretty quickly on the Minnesota front, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.

The Minnesota Timberwolves have made “significant progress” in their attempts to hire Dave Joerger away from the Memphis Grizzlies to be their new coach, according to sources close to the process.

Sources told ESPN.com that, while compensation details with the Grizzlies still have to worked out, Minnesota’s fast-moving bid to make Joerger its next coach is gathering momentum.

Compensation could potentially derail this. Joerger is still under contract with Memphis and they would demand picks or cash to let him go (remember you can’t trade a player for a coach, only picks or cash). Because Memphis is willing to move on here the compensation may be something not that hard to work out (second round pick?), but it still looms over the talks.

Joerger is not the only coach still in the conversation, reports Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports.

Hollins is the former Grizzlies coach let go by the former Memphis management to make way for Joerger, just to bring this full circle.

Still, looks like Joerger could be trying to persuade Kevin Love to stay soon and Memphis will get its third coach in three seasons. (Stability? Who need stability?)

Video Breakdown: Clippers use JJ Redick in split cut to fool Jazz at 3-point line

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The Los Angeles Clippers dropped Game 5 to the Utah Jazz on Tuesday night, and find themselves down 3-2 as they head back to Salt Lake City for Game 6. The Clippers have had to deal with Utah’s formidable defense, so much so that they’ve built in counters to Jazz defenders overplaying shooters like JJ Redick.

One example of this countering method could be found in Game 3, when the Clippers ran a split cut for Redick. Instead of fighting endlessly around screens for a 3-point shot as you might expect, LA took the easy route and simply cut Redick to the basket for an easy layup as a means to take advantage of an overeager defender.

We’ve talked about the Split Cut here on NBA Playbook before. The Los Angeles Lakers used it earlier in the season to beat the Golden State Warriors, the team that uses the split cut perhaps the most out of any team in the NBA.

Other teams, including the Portland Trail Blazers, have adapted the Warriors’ use of the split cut as a counter for their own offense this season, which is a testament to just how useful it is.

If you need a reminder, a split cut all about a screener coming up to screen, then cutting toward the basket before his screen action fully takes place. It’s about timing, and catching defenders off guard when they go to set up their recover positions for screens.

For a full breakdown on the split cut and how the Clippers used it, watch the video above.

John Wall wears cape to postgame press conference (video)

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John Wall has been super, averaging 27 points and 11 assists while leading the Wizards to a 3-2 lead over the Hawks in the first-round.

Did you see Isaiah Thomas carry in Game 5? ‘No,’ says Fred Hoiberg, who walks off (video)

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Fred Hoiberg opened himself to clowning by complaining about Isaiah Thomas carrying.

So, the Bulls coach got clowned after the Celtics’ Game 5 win.

Jae Crowder leg-locks Robin Lopez (video)

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Late in the Celtics’ Game 5 win over the Bulls last night, Jae Crowder leg-locked Robin Lopez – the same dirty play that caused rancor for Matthew Dellavedova in the 2015 playoffs.

Lopez blocked Crowder’s shot, but the ball went to Al Horford, who attacked the basket. As Lopez tried to rotate to contest another shot, he couldn’t move. Crowder, who’d fallen to the floor, had him in a leg-lock. Lopez freed himself just in time to foul Horford.

Adding insult to avoided injury, Lopez got hit with a technical foul for complaining about the no-call.

I bet the league issues a technical foul on Crowder, too.